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  #13  
Old 05-16-2013, 08:17 PM
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Re: It's towing time!

OK,

Here is the low down. I want to make sure I point out that I hooked the trailer up with the Durango OFF and pictures are taken with the Truck OFF.

There is no Load Leveling done by the car and I adjusted the hitch to make the vehicle fairly level (by the book they dont want you pitching them too hard). So once I run the vehicle, the rear end comes up slightly.

My prior vehicle did not have air in the rear so I can speak from experience that set up properly, it feels proper and drives safely even without load leveling in the rear end.

Feel free to ask questions or PM me.

THX.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:49 PM
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Re: It's towing time!

I need to see this in person because it still confuses me. I even researched it today at work and read up on how they work, but i need a physical demo...lol. My only question is do these work with rental trailers? I currently do not own a car hauler but could benefit from it.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:55 PM
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Re: It's towing time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Og Neon View Post
I need to see this in person because it still confuses me. I even researched it today at work and read up on how they work, but i need a physical demo...lol. My only question is do these work with rental trailers? I currently do not own a car hauler but could benefit from it.
You could bolt the arms on the rental trailer that hang down. It wouldnt be that hard to set up, just a pain. Sorry was thinking you bought the U'Haul and owned it.

My friends know I tow lots of different stuff so I get asked about once a week about beefing up the rear suspension on thier trucks because of the sag.... Sure it might help a little with the wear on the rear suspension but it doesn not a thing for the handling.

See lots of trucks cruising down the interstate looking like the front wheels are a little light. That description of the Fulcrum below is 100% fact and needs to be considered but the space from the rear wheels to the hitch ofsets longer wheelbases. Also as a side note, don't just load your car further back, you will create more sway that way. You want about 10% of the Gross of the trailer to your tongue for good control.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:16 PM
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Re: It's towing time!

As for the towing today...it went well. The jeep handled load really well. I had no problem running at highway speeds and passing. The jeep was fairly stable but I could feel the difference having a shorter wheelbase made.

Tow mode works, and the Jeep does a good job holding the lower gears longer and controlling trailer bounce, without making the ride feel stiff. The only downside is it eventually gets up to 8th gear and tries to hold it for too long when it is obvious you need a downshift, but don't want to mash the pedal. After a couple of times i elected to just go into manual mode and keep it in 7th, and on occasion I would go to 8th, but it is never good to tow in overdrive. In manual mode keeping it in 7th made a noticeable improvement. The tranny never got hotter then 204 even in overdrive and once up to speed it came back down to 199, and you had more power on tap to speed up or control the trailer with.

Lastly, my gas milage average was 13.5ish which isn't bad considering my city is 15.5ish. My return trip with no trailer though was 21.3, and that was cruising at 75.

So overall, besides the sag (Thanks Willx for the advice) the jeep handled towing 6200lbs easily and cruised well. Once the vehicle is leveled out it will be a beast.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:25 PM
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Glad to hear. You have a stiffer rear suspension than most so actually that unit is setup very nicely for towing.

The paddle shifters where another turning point for me. They are the same as the ML and I used them tons while towing so I was thrilled the Jeep was getting them. Even with cruise on because you can predict the downshifts for hills before the load is on the vehicle. Makes all the difference in the world when going into slight grades to drop a gear before the incline saving the tranny from the loaded shift.

I am buying my 2014 JGC as a hauler and I am looking forward to it.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:44 PM
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Re: It's towing time!

Here's a link to my towing thread with a weight distributing hitch: Towing with the WK2 SRT8

I assume the uhaul trailer has surge brakes which you can't use with a normal weight distributing hitch. Here's a good article: New Weight-Distributing Hitch Solves Serious Liability Issues - Consumer Feature - Truck Trend
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw930 View Post

I assume the uhaul trailer has surge brakes which you can't use with a normal weight distributing hitch. Here's a good article: New Weight-Distributing Hitch Solves Serious Liability Issues - Consumer Feature - Truck Trend
Surge brakes refer to the type of control NOT the brakes on the trailer. The brakes on the trailer work based on the voltage input from the controller. If you are using a UHaul and you use a proportional controller it will react proportional to the stopping force in the tow vehicle.

Weight distributing hitches are not reliant on the type of brakes, now saying that unless your trailer weighs next to nothing I would never use surge brakes. In an emergency stop procedure they will not give good stopping power unless over adjusted (close to locking) during normal driving.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:45 PM
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Re: It's towing time!

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Originally Posted by Willx View Post
Surge brakes refer to the type of control NOT the brakes on the trailer. The brakes on the trailer work based on the voltage input from the controller. If you are using a UHaul and you use a proportional controller it will react proportional to the stopping force in the tow vehicle.

Weight distributing hitches are not reliant on the type of brakes, now saying that unless your trailer weighs next to nothing I would never use surge brakes. In an emergency stop procedure they will not give good stopping power unless over adjusted (close to locking) during normal driving.
I'm sorry but you are wrong.

Surge brakes use NO ELECTRONICS, they are activated by a piston housed in the trailer coupler. The weight of the trailer pushing forward as the truck slows down depresses the piston in the surge master cylinder and applies the brakes to the wheels. This is how the majority of boat trailers work and many Uhaul trailers. Over the last decade "Electric over Hydraulic" brakes for boats have become popular, especially on larger rigs. I've used them coupled with disk brakes and they are wonderful. I will NEVER use surge brakes again.

Call up any of the weight distributing hitch makers (not dealers, they are idiots) and ask if their hitch is compatible with SURGE BRAKES, you may be quite surprised with the answer.

Quote:
BUT YOU GOTTA STOP!
Trailer Brakes: Electric vs. Hydraulic Surge

John Tiger, Jr.
Speedway Illustrated Magazine
September 2003

Trailer brakes are a necessary evil; when they work properly, they're an essential part of the installed towing equipment needed to make a trip safe; when they need work, they're a real pain in the %&^* to service correctly. Most states have towing laws that stipulate that trailer brakes (separate from tow vehicle brakes) are mandatory when the trailer exceeds a certain weight limit; most times, that limit is around 3000 pounds (although in some states it's 1500 pounds, and in others it's 4500 pounds). Your state's information can usually be found at government Web sites such as the Department of Transportation (DOT; Department of Transportation) or the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA; Home | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)). Additionally, towing-related publications such as Trailer Boats magazine (Boating Magazine | World's Largest Powerboat Magazine) or Trailer Life magazine (Travel Trailers, Trailer Camping and Trailer how Tos) regularly print very helpful state-by-state towing laws summary each fall, as well as a Tow Ratings guide for the new vehicle model year. Many new vehicle owners' manuals require trailer brakes when towing in order to keep the warranty valid. If your vehicle is new or under warranty, check the manual before you tow.

ELECTRIC OR HYDRAULIC?

Trailer brakes fall into two categories; electric (controlled by a brake control in the tow vehicle) and hydraulic surge (actuated by a special trailer coupler with no control from the tow car). Typically, hydraulic surge brakes are fitted to boat trailers and rental utility trailers.

In the past, boat trailers relied heavily on surge brakes setups because it was thought that the electric brake components mounted in the wheel (the shoes, arms, magnet and related springs and parts) would rust quickly because they are constantly dipped in water when the boat is launched. Today, however, more marine trailer builders are installing electric brake systems because brake manufacturers have started offering corrosion-resistant brake components such as galvanized or stainless steel metal parts coupled with rare-earth magnets.

Rental trailers, like those from U-Haul, rely on surge brakes because they don't require a brake control and related wiring from the tow vehicle. This makes renting and hooking up the trailer easier and cheaper.

SURGE BRAKES

However, there have always been questions about the actual legality of surge brake systems. DOT regulations specify that trailers with brakes must be fitted with an actuator that allows the tow vehicle driver to operate the trailer brakes independent of the tow vehicle brakes. In other words, he must be able to actuate the trailer's brakes without stepping on the tow vehicle brake pedal. Surge brakes do not offer this feature. They work using the deceleration force present as the tow vehicle stops. When the driver applies the tow vehicle brakes, the surge brake coupler's internal master cylinder compresses against the coupler body, forcing brake fluid through the brake lines to the wheel cylinders which forces the brake shoes against the drum (or pads against the rotor, if equipped with the newer disc brakes). If this sounds like a description of how the tow vehicle's brakes work, that's because surge brake systems work very much like car and truck brake systems. Unfortunately, there's no way for the driver to independently apply the trailer brakes in case of emergency. Are surge brakes legal? Technically, no but that's a "technicality" that's been overlooked for decades. Surge brakes are still very popular on marine and rental trailers, and probably will continue to be for years into the future.

Surge brake maintenance can be time-consuming and troublesome. Just like the tow vehicle's brakes, the trailer's brakes must be maintained and serviced regularly to ensure that they'll work properly when they're needed most. With surge brakes, this involves changing the brake fluid, checking and/or replacing the lines and fittings carefully when corroded or leaking, and replacing the brake shoes and related parts. In addition, just like when servicing tow vehicle brakes, surge brakes must be bled in order to work properly. It's no wonder most surge brake systems go unserviced for many years, sometimes for the entire life of the trailer if it's used infrequently.

ELECTRIC BRAKES

Electric trailer brakes work without hydraulic fluid, master cylinders, or brake lines. An electric brake controller is mounted in the tow vehicle (usually under the dashboard, within easy reach of the driver). This controller is a simple device that takes 12 volts DC from the tow vehicle's electrical system and sends it back to the trailer brakes through a simple wiring system. The brake controller is always powered (always "on") as it is tied directly into the tow vehicle's wiring. However, it is "triggered" (energized) and begins to send power back to the trailer brakes only when activated. It can be activated two ways. Since it is wired directly into the tow vehicle's brake light switch, when the driver steps on the tow vehicle brake pedal he also activates the brake control. In addition, all brake controls have a manual actuation lever or button that allows the driver to send power back to the trailer brakes without stepping on the tow vehicle brake pedal.

Most brake controls employ some type of internal electronic control whereby the 12-volt input from the tow vehicle's electrical system is modulated as it's sent back to the trailer brakes. There are two types of brake controls: inertia-activated and time activated. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but they perform essentially the same function: they allow voltage to be applied to the trailer brake system wiring, energizing the trailer brakes so that the trailer helps the tow vehicle slow or stop.

Electric trailer brakes employ a magnet mounted inside the wheel hub assembly that when energized by the brake control, causes the brake shoes to move outward towards the drum and push against it. In contrast to surge brakes, servicing electric brakes is relatively easy; the magnet, wires, brake shoes and return springs are the only parts to service or replace, and there's no hydraulic fluid to replace and bleed. There's no master cylinder or lines to leak either.

CHOOSE YOUR SYSTEM

For most Speedway Illustrated readers, the choice will be easy; if you're fitting out a new trailer or rebuilding an older one, go with electric brakes. Surge brakes work well, but they're harder and more complex to maintain and repair. Electric brakes are easier to install and maintain, and the only extra initial expense is the brake control. There's good news for those in need of one, though; prices have come down over the past half-dozen years due to more competition in this market. Good brake controls that will stop trailers with up to four brakes can be purchased for less than $75, and on most new trucks and SUVs they simply plug into an existing harness under the dash using an inexpensive (less than $20) harness adapter. Remember that a surge brake system uses a special trailer coupler with a master cylinder included, which can cost well over $100 when buying new or replacing an older unit. As mentioned, maintenance and upkeep are much simpler than with surge brakes, and you'll have the added safety and peace of mind that a cockpit-mounted brake control provides.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:26 PM
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My apologies.... difference of term from what I had seen. Always referred to that system as "overrun" brakes and the controllers as surge vs proportional. My bad on the phrasing.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overrun_brake

Yes you are correct. I have see those and would never tow a unit like that. Way to dangerous and I have been onsite to a accident with that unit.

I would only ever recommend towing with a controller that can be properly setup based on the loading. I have towed a few different car carriers and they always had proper 7 pin wiring and mag control brakes.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:43 PM
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Also, just catching up on why I never see these that much ( overrun or surge brakes).

They were illegal in many states until 2007.... and probably still should be.

http://ca.ararental.org/GovernmentAf...rgeBrakes.aspx

Also just as a note to the OP. The original recommendation for Equalizer weight distribution hitches is completely compatible with surge/overrun brake systems. It does not affect the forward actuator sensor (according to the manufacturer)
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw930 View Post

Call up any of the weight distributing hitch makers (not dealers, they are idiots) and ask if their hitch is compatible with SURGE BRAKES, you may be quite surprised with the answer.
Just so you are aware... Also some weight distribution systems will improve the performance of a surge brake system. This is taken from http://www.equalizerhitch.com/About%...i-zer/faqs.php in the FAQs. And yes very surprising to me that it may improve the safety of a surge brake system. I guess I can continue to recommend this system with of course the addition that you should check and make sure that there is nothing specific from the place you purchase/rent the trailer from that says it would be unsafe?

"The Equal-i-zer hitch will work with most trailers equipped with surge brakes because the spring arms rest on rigid Sway Control Brackets, rather than being suspended by chains. The bars slide forward/backward while turning or braking, without the tendency to "spring" back into the straight position like bars hung from chains do. This allows the surge brake to be properly activated, instead of intermittently activating/deactivating the brakes, or not allowing enough compression to activate the surge brakes at all."

So in fact if the OP's trailer is surge it would still be very helpful according to the manufacturer... But double checking with the manufacturer about that actual trailer is probably still a good idea.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:51 AM
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Re: It's towing time!

You are correct, the equalizer and the Reese SC are the only 2 weight distributing hitches that I'm aware of that support surge brakes. The chain type do not.

Having lived and trailered in Florida for the last 17 years has probably colored by view of the trailering world. 90% of the boat trailers here run surge brakes and up until 5 years ago all I ever towed were boats. It's only been in the last 5 years or so that electric over hydraulic brakes have become main stream and still most don't use them because it adds another $500 to the price of the trailer. It's not until you have used electric over hydraulic that you realize just how inadequate surge brakes really are but then I also see 50% or more of the boat trailers going down the road without any tie down straps so it stands to reason that someone who's that irresponsible probably has no clue about safety. Heck, I know for a fact that many boat owners never even maintain their trailer brakes, they just assume everything is fine since all their friends are doing the same thing.......
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